Firstly, I must apologise for my long absence from book reviews! I had a baby recently and for the first time in my life struggled to find time for reading. And when I did manage to find a sliver of time to myself, I was too exhausted to read and couldn’t focus on the page! However, a few months have passed and I feel somewhat back to normal. I have finally managed to read a few books which I would love to share with you.
The 2 books I’m reviewing today are vastly different. The one is a light-hearted, feel-good read. The second is a remarkable true story. It retells how an entire family managed, against all odds, to survive the Holocaust as told by a granddaughter of a survivor.
THE LATE BLOOMER’S CLUB – Louise Miller
So, The Late Bloomer’s Club…I really enjoyed this slow-paced novel about sisters, baking and small town secrets. Don’t read this book if you are after plot twists and turns. It is far better suited to lazy Sundays with tea and biscuits. In fact, fair warning, a couple of my friends have not been able to finish this as they got bored. However, if you’re in the correct frame of mind for something a little slower, then I really recommend this book.
Two sisters, Nora and Kit, who are very different, inherit the land of the town’s main cake baker, Peggy, when she unexpectedly dies. Kit is an aspiring but broke film-maker and Nora runs the town diner. A big-box store wants to purchase the land for a new site. Both the sisters and the town are deeply divided on the issue and Nora herself is especially conflicted. Deep loyalty to the town versus her new feelings for the store representative, and her instinct to look after and help her sister plays against her own needs. In the meantime, someone must continue to bake the town’s cake orders. And find out why Peggy was making monthly payments to a nursing home. Then there’s the cute dog in the story that just adds to my love for this book.
This book is so lovely. It is just gorgeous. If it was a food (which you will see, becomes an apt metaphor for this book!) it would be a thick, warm, golden syrup. The characters are utterly charming, sometimes frustrating – but always real. The Late Bloomer’s Club made the small town of Guthrie in which it’s set, feel a bit like home for me. I really highly recommended this read.
PS: I read another of this author’s books which also gave me the warm and fuzzies called, “The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living”.
WE WERE THE LUCKY ONES – Georgia Hunter
A very different book from The Late Bloomer’s Club, this is the story of one Jewish family throughout the Holocaust. What I wish I had known from the start, and, it does say this in the front but I somehow missed it, is that it is a true story. This changed everything about the book for me, and I had to completely revisit my initial thoughts for this novel.
It is worth reading, simply for the fact that it is a true story. The book and writing themselves are fine, but not great. The story is told from multiple viewpoints of various family members and covers the events pre-, during, and post WWII in Europe. You follow along as they are all persecuted, and try to survive under Nazi Germany and Nazi occupation. Despite thinking this was fictional, I became engaged in the various plots. Even though the writing does not seem that polished, I was still drawn into the book and the lives of the family and their struggles.
Every time I read a new book, or watch a TV show, or read an article about the events in Europe during that time, I am struck again by the horror of the Holocaust. With the knowledge that 6 million Jewish people were murdered in Europe during those years, it is close to unbelievable that one entire family remained alive. Through luck, fortitude, and smarts, they somehow, against all odds manage to stay alive. It is truly a remarkable story.
The author of the novel is the granddaughter of one of the “characters” (they are all real people so not really characters). She gathered the information for this book by interviewing her various relatives. If this book was not a true story I don’t think I would recommend it, however, as it is all true, I would urge you to consider this read that relates one family’s resilience, faith and bond in what was one of the darkest times in history.
THIS IS NOT A SPONSORED POST
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